Afterlives of the Saints

Afterlives of the Saints

by Colin Dickey

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781609530723
Publisher: Unbridled Books
Publication date: 06/12/2012
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.66(w) x 8.54(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author


Colin Dickey is the author of Cranioklepty: Grave Robbing and the Search for Genius. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Lapham's Quarterly, Cabinet, TriQuarterly, and The Santa Monica Review. He is also coeditor (with Nicole Antebi and Robby Herbst) of Failure! Experiments in Aesthetic and Social Practices.

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Afterlives of the Saints 2.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
JanaRose1 on LibraryThing 5 months ago
This book is a collection of essays/stories about odd or unique Saints. Each chapter discusses a different saint and provides information about their lives, mythology and the odd things that they have done. I found the book a bit hard to read. It was very repetitive and discussed some topics ad nauseum. It did not seem to be organized in any logical manner. I thought the subject matter was interesting, and I learned some things I did not know before. But overall, I was a bit disappointed with this book.
artistlibrarian on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Dickey's latest work is an interesting selection of saints - famous and forgotten, martyred and disfigured, the academics and the ignorant. Afterlives is not a collection of biographies; it is much more a postmodern investigation of their lives. A foundation in Catholicism is less necessary than being well-read in Joyce, Proust, Borges, Flaubert, and Foucault. Because of this, those merely curious about the more strange and macabre saint stories will be disappointed. While Dickey's examinations can be, at times, tedious and feel forced, they invite the reader to reconsider complex life stories. His insights on the lives of saints in contemporary culture and faith are a welcome perspective in the scholarship.
sdmtngirl on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Not having been brought up within the realms of Saints I was pleased to find this book on my doorstep. Working in the world of Public and Law Libraries I was delighted to find that the first reviewed Saint was Jerome, Patron Saint of librarians and libraries as well as archivists, translators and encyclopedists. Where I thought I would find an easy-to-read explanation of Saints and their motivations, the essays within were more on the world afterward and their influence upon others and the religious structure surrounding them. It became tedious after the first few individuals detailed, although it was well-researched and documented. If you are looking, as I was, for something to explain the overall concept of Sainthood and those deemed Saints, you will not find it here. If you are researching for a term paper or Thesis you have found what you¿re looking for.
Kegsoccer on LibraryThing 5 months ago
"Afterlives of the Saints" by Colin Dickey is a useful tool if you're wondering about some of the saints out there. It is not by any means all-inclusive, but there is a wealth of information that would be useful to anyone trying to find out information on little known saints. I thought it could have been organized a bit better, but overall this is one I'll keep with my other texts on religion.
doomjesse on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Afterlives of the Saints is more a meditation on faith than it is a collection of short saint biographies. To the author's credit he admits as much in the introduction. Unfortunately it sometimes seems as if the saints are almost afterthoughts because he references so many other authors. If you're looking for a meditation on faith this is certainly the book for you. If however you're looking for more info on saints this isn't especially fulfilling. He does an adequate job of contextualizing why the were made saints and their deeds (good and bad) but it is only a starting point for his meditations on faith.
IslandDave on LibraryThing 5 months ago
The Afterlives of the Saints offers a small glimpse into the history of saints and those they influenced. The pace is quick and there isn't a grand overarching narrative to draw together the various people who have achieved sainthood. While not a terribly comprehensive look at saints, Dickey does a solid job of introducing each subject and providing some interesting tales.
JBD1 on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Colin Dickey's Afterlives of the Saints: Stories from the Ends of Faith (Unbridled Books, 2012) is a thought-provoking collection of stories and meditations about the lives and deeds of saints and how those lives and deeds come to gain different meaning(s) and interpretations over time. As someone raised in a non-saint-based religion I've always been fascinated at the very idea of saints, and I was somewhat amused at the sections of Dickey's book about the early collections of saints' biographies (hagiographies) in which almost all the personal details were removed; the whole point of hagiography, Dickey writes, is that "the story is written to tell us not the facts about that person's life but rather how that person's life exemplifies the glory of God" (p. 19).Obviously not a comprehensive overview of saints, Dickey's book concentrates on a few specific ones (those Dickey describes as "the ones who have spoken most to me over the years, either because of what they wrote, because of the art and literature they inspired, or because of the wide range of beliefs they encompassed" - pg. 20). He concludes with a section on a few people who aren't saints, but might have been.Dickey considers his selected saints through in various ways: in the chapter on Mary Magdalene he compares typical imagery of the saint with a WWII-era Life photo of a woman peering at the skull of a Japanese soldier sent to her as a war trophy. From Borges to Caravaggio to Kafka, Dante to Chaucer to Van Gogh to "Blade Runner", Dickey explores how art, politics, religion, pop culture and literature have drawn on the examples of the saints in their own works.Interesting too is Dickey's suggestion that much of the extreme behavior exhibited by those now considered saints would be seen as pathological conditions today, to be treated with medication and/or psychotherapy. They lived, he writes, at the extremes of humanity, a place hard for any modern person to reach. I'd have liked a bit more in this line as a conclusion, but even without that, this was a deeply interesting read.